When the plane went down in the ocean,
It was a terrible tragedy,
The word came back, "No Survivors,
Everyone lost at sea."
All one hundred passengers,
And the airplane's crew of five,
Had perished in the tragic crash,
Not a soul was left alive.
But no one knew about the child,
Not listed in the manifest,
Held safely on a mother's lap,
Till torn away by a sea obsessed.

At a distance from the wreckage,
A bundle floated on the waves,
Its destination - the horizon,
And the setting sun's last rays.
An infant's tiny cry went out,
But who was there to hear?
The sea so big; the sky so vast,
And not a living soul was near.
The rolling motion of the ocean,
Rocked the baby till it slept,
Then, as cradled in a mother's arms,
The child no longer wept.

In the distance, storm clouds gathered,
Urged on by churning winds,
And faster sailed the bundle,
Which held the tiny cherubim.
The sun now done had disappeared,
A crescent moon revealed no light,
Dark clouds obscured the twinkling stars,
And, oh so black the awful night.
The waves, higher - their troughs, deeper,
The child now was wildly tossed,
Awakened, cold, and weakly crying,
Frightened, all alone, and lost.

Braver men in sturdy vessels
Could hardly weather such a storm,
So, how could this little soul
Expect to see the light of morn?
Then suddenly from the ocean's depth,
The child was grabbed by gentle hands,
And swiftly, sweetly carried
Into a stange and foriegn land.
"Sisters!  Sisters!  See what I've found!"
The lovely mermaid cried with glee,
As she held the tiny infant up,
For all of them to see.

The baby's eyes were big as saucers,
She smiled; her crying quit,
She cooed and gurgled at the mermaids,
And each of them was loving it. 
The mermaids built her a coral crib,
Inside their bungalow ,
Then cushioned it with seaweed,
So it was soft as snow.
They dangled pearls from its top
To catch the baby's eye,
And bells they made from colored shells,
Which rang so she'd not cry.

She was welcomed; she was loved,
She smiled and clapped her baby hands,
The mermaids took turns holding her,
Her every wish was their command.
Through the years, they nurtured her,
They were aware that she'd been blest,
For she possessed both mermaid's gills,
And human lungs within her chest.
An interesting phenomenon,
Unexplainable to man,
Unless he believed in mermaids,
Then, of course, he'd understand.

She grew in charm and beauty,
As she learned the secrets of the sea,
But questions oft occurred to her,
About her rightful destiny.
Sometimes under dark of night,
The young lady swam to shore,
To observe live, human beings,
That she had never seen before.
She saw people laughing, having fun,
And nice homes with welcome mats,
She saw friends greeting one another,
And puppy dogs and kitty cats.

She saw whole families gathered round
A table - all together,
Having dinner, sharing tales,
How could anything be better?
She saw young men and women,
Holding hands and walking in the park,
She watched them stealing kisses,
In the corners that were dark.
She wondered how it would feel
To have a young man take her hand,
And when  she saw a couple kiss,
She sighed, "That must be grand."

As she watched these nightly scenes,
Her heart was split in two,
She was torn between a mermaid's life,
And the things mankind could do.
She stood tall upon a sandy dune,
That overlooked both sea and earth,
And wondered which one of the two
Would prove to have more worth. 
She had strong yearnings for the ocean,
And strong longings for the land,
She loved her playful mermaid mothers,
Yet she loved the images of man.

Each of them within her heart,
Which choice would she make?
In torment then, she flipped a coin
To decide which path to take.
Heads would be for mermaids,
And tails would be for man,
Silently the coin fell,
And ... was buried in the sand!
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright August 2003

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